Cuil is Back Up! Sort of!

By  |  Monday, July 28, 2008 at 8:46 am

Last night when I trudged off to bed, much-hyped new search engine Cuil had launched, was giving me odd-to-awful results–and then was replaced with a “We’ll Be Back” page saying that it was proving so popular that they had to take it offline to beef up their server capacity.

This morning, it’s back up and running. But despite claiming the planet’s largest index, it still has some sort of glitch that results in it sometimes failing to find any results at all:

In other Cuil news, my friend Dan Tynan is rightly wondering what Cuil’s founders were thinking when they gave their site that name. They say it’s an old Irish word for knowledge, and that it’s pronounced “cool.”

It seems inevitable that half of Cuil’s users will have no idea how to pronounce it. And if any of the the other half recommend it to a friend in person, that friend will have no idea how to spell it unless it’s spelled out–which is kind of a singular achievement for a word with only four letters in it.

It gets weirder: Until recently, Cuil was going to be called Cuill. They say that they changed the name to simplify the spelling…

To be named Cuill and change the spelling to Cuil based on that rational is sorta like living near the San Andreas Fault and deciding to move to safer territory–and buying a house that’s fifty yards to the south.

Safe prediction: It Cuil turns out to be good enough to gain traction, it will be called something else someday. Maybe soon…



2 Comments For This Post

  1. dan tynan Says:

    you know, my second thought (after the one that cuil was just a terrible name) was that it looked like a gaelic word. and damned if I wasn’t right. thanks for the shoutout, hm.


  2. Karlonia - Cuil Results Says:

    Apparently Cuil was not quite ready for launch during the first day or two – many medium long tail queries did not return results at all, and even general queries returned way fewer results than they should have considering Cuil’s claims of having indexed so many pages already. They did improve somewhat afterward, however, and seem to be picking up more results and increasing relevance as more people have been testing out the engine.

    In the long run, I hope they get things together and perform well enough to compete with the major search engines and then maybe do some advertising. I would like to see more serious competitors to Google in order to hold their power in check and encourage more transparency overall.

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